Claim: It was President Ferdinand Marcos who dismantled the Cordillera
Facts: Dean Worcester, then a member of the Philippine Commission, recommended grouping the subprovinces of Benguet, Lepanto-Bontoc, Kalinga, Ifugao, and Apayao into the Mountain Province in 1908.
The Division Law of June 1966 subdivided the Mountain Province, creating the regular and independent provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, and Kalinga-Apayao. Abra remained a separate province.
After President Ferdinand E. Marcos imposed Martial Law on September 21, 1972, he issued Presidential Decree No. 1 three days later, implementing the Integrated Reorganization Plan (IRP) which restructured the bureaucracy “to promote simplicity, economy, and efficiency in the government.”
This divided the country into 13 regions. Cordillera was not one of them. Instead, Ifugao and Kalinga-Apayao were included in Region 2 while Benguet, Mountain Province, and Baguio City were included in Region 1, where Abra was already included.
This old Mountain Province was finally subdivided by the Division Law of June 1966, creating the regular and independent provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, and Kalinga-Apayao. Abra had then been a separate province.
“In 1976 the governors of these four provinces forwarded a resolution to President Marcos asking for a separate region for the old Mountain Province coverage. But the request had not been granted,” Bahatan wrote.
“Assemblymen or representatives in Congress of Ifugao and Baguio namely Jess Paredes and Honorato Aquino respectively filed separate bills in the Batasan for a separate Mountain Province Region. The bills also did not prosper,” he added.
It was Marcos’s successor, President Corazon Aquino, who brought the old MP provinces including Abra into the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Why we fact-checked this: When the region celebrates its Cordillera Day, at least now they know who to recognize.